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Spanish Daily Journal
     October 23, 2019      #44-296 sdj
 
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This Sept. 11, 2018, file photo, shows a marijuana plant grown at in the coastal mountain range of San Luis Obispo, Calif.

City to set special 3 percent marijuana tax 

La ciudad establecerá un impuesto especial a la marihuana del 3 por ciento

KANKAKEE — Before any rules or regulations are set regarding Kankakee hosting recreational marijuana stores, the city’s first step will be setting a special 3-percent sales tax on sales generated by the outlets.

At Tuesday’s combined Budget and Ordinance Committee meeting, Kankakee City Council members agreed to place the additional 3-percent tax on all recreational marijuana sales.

Where the money will be directed and how much they expect to derive from the tax are not yet known.

The council will have until the end of the year to hammer out all those details, but the first action is establishing the tax and getting it submitted to the Illinois Department of Revenue prior to Oct. 1.

If the city does not forward the approved ordinance to IDOR by the end of September, the tax would not go into effect until Sept. 1, 2020, meaning the city would lose out on the additional taxes.

A special city council meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday to formally adopt the tax. When that task is completed, the city’s legal counsel will deliver the document to IDOR.

Because the market is so new, officials said they could not even guess as to how much tax money the city could gain.

Like alcohol, marijuana purchases would be limited to those age 21 and older.

Even if Kankakee did not open its doors to a retailer, it would still be legal to purchase recreational marijuana elsewhere and consume it at homes within the city limits.

While the city council still have a slew of particulars to work through before an ordinance governing the sale of recreational marijuana is established here, residents again voiced objections and support for the pending move.

During the two-hour meeting Tuesday, community members spoke for nearly an hour voicing their opinions.

As it was a Monday’s special Kankakee Planning Board meeting, some residents believed the city’s move to allow for the sale of recreational marijuana will only further drag the city down.

Others, however, said legal sales would help drive away the illegal sale of drugs. They also said it would reduce the distribution of unregulated marijuana containing dangerous chemicals.

City attorney Burt Odelson said the council needs to take its time drafting legislation because there are many issues to address and this is new to Illinois.

It was also noted plenty of interest is being shown by businesses seeking to establish retail outlets for the product. It could be possible that there could be more than one retail outlet in Kankakee.

Those stores can only be location in certain commercially-zoned districts and industrial-zoned areas.

Hopeful retailers must first pass through the state licensing procedure and then gain a business permit in Kankakee. The city’s permit application fee could be a $1,500, non-refundable charge, Odelson said.

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